Sunday, February 04, 2007
I have moved blogs!

I'm getting sick of this one. It's just a blog full of rubbish.

So here it is....Introducing my new blog....

Shut up! I can't hear the pantomime!

Luv Amy


posted by Lidia @ 8:51 AM   13 comments
Friday, January 12, 2007
Dear Friends, has been so long!

It's already nearly halfway through the month but my friend Chris has inspired me to follow his suit and write about what 2006 has taught me. WARNING: This entry is going to be about me, me and me probably contains nothing interesting to other people but hey, that's what blogs are for!

Now that I look back on it, 2006 was one of the most amazing years of my official year of 'change' in which practically every part of my life had a complete overhaul. It all started on January 1 last year. I woke up at 4 am to the sounds of my parents hurriedly packing last minute things and yelling out to us kids to get up or we'll miss the plane! We had just spent our Christmas and New Years Eve in Port Vila, Vanuatu and were to leave around 7 am that morning for Australia. The past night had been fun – filled with laughter and merriment set against the backdrop of loud partying Ni-Vans celebrating the beginning of a new year. Us kids had been riding in the back of a truck throughout town, talking and playing hand games. Everyone was happy and cheerful.

(Me in Vanuatu playing handgames with Vanese...yes hand games...)

This changed the next day when we got up to go to the airport. We checked in, saw Bob Hawke (a former Prime Minister of Australia) and watched the planes from the viewing area. Our moods soon changed when we were finally called to board the plane. Our cousins, aunties, uncles and friends all lined up for hugs and there was not a dry eye anywhere. I have never cried so much in my life. I felt like I was leaving my home and my family and the place I belonged. I learnt my first lesson for 2006 on the first day of the year...Vanuatu is going to be in my future. I know it.

I can't remember if this happened before or after I went to Fiji, but I learnt I had been accepted into a Bachelor of E-Journalism at CQU in Rockhampton. I knew I would get accepted but somehow it was exciting getting that big white envelope in the post. If you had told me the year before that I would be staying in Rockhampton for the start of my university, I would have loudly rebutted it. But even though I could have gotten into the Uni I originally wanted (QUT in Brisbane) I had changed my mind just before Vanuatu when my Uncle had talked me out of it. Now I sincerely thank him for changing my mind. If I had gone to Brisbane, I am sure I wouldn't be in the same place I am today.

Fiji was next and I embarked on a short trip to this Pacific paradise during January still with my mum, nanny and sister Hayley. We were going to see Benny Hinn, a traveling evangelist who was going to be holding a large rally in Suva. Fiji was amazing. I had never been there before and thought it would be like Vanuatu or Samoa but it was completely different. I think it not only strengthened my love for the Pacific, but also my love of India. I adored the Indian culture that was on display and practically fell out of my bus seat in excitement when I spotted the large paintings of Aishwarya Rai, Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan on the front of the cinema. I learnt my second lesson (which I already knew anyway) during this trip. That I was totally head over heels in love with India ( surprise surprise!)

When I got home from Fiji, nothing had changed. I was bored and could not wait to start university. I finally got my drivers license after failing once (I left the handbrake on and stalled the car three times before even leaving the car park!) and got used to the new independence driving gave me. Finally March came around and a new chapter of my life began. I enjoyed orientation so much and couldn't understand why people were going on about how boring and irrelevant it was. When I first entered the CQU sports centre I was a bit scared but I had found an Indian (masquerading as a Canadian) named Mozzie who I had met the day before and we walked over together. Just as I got there I saw my good school friend Sophie and Chemistry classmate Sean and introduced them to Mozzie. We then went and saw more classmates and took a seat. During that time I began looking around me and sussing everyone out. My eyes kept coming back to this petite blonde girl with freckles and glasses and her friend who looked a bit out of place against the Australian landscape. I kept on thinking, gosh, that girl must be foreign because although she physically looked like an Australian, there was something about her mannerisms that told me she was from somewhere different.

(Miss Melissa...during one of the first times i met her..she is wearing Canadian colours and we are sitting in my beloved university library)

I later found out her name was Melissa and she was from Canada during an introduction session with the communication and journalism students. I also found out that the petite blonde girl was named Joan and shared a house with her boyfriend and Melissa. That's the last I saw of them that day. I learnt many lessons that day – don't ever set eyes on an engineering boy because they are only interested in one thing, don't run across "Magpie plain" because you will surely get attacked by magpies, and don't swim in the confested swamp thing outside the library, because many people are sure it is a breeding ground for strange and dangerous creatures.

I have to write this incident that Chris also wrote in his blog. I remember after lunch on the first day of Orientation all the media and communication students had got together for the second part of the orientation. But we were waiting for one person. A guy named Chris. Finally we decided to just continue on without him and then just as we left the building there he was, sitting down outside listening to music!! I thought it was really funny at the time. I saw Chris a lot that day and I sincerely thought he had a crush on a pretty blonde girl named Ana who I had met several times through my friend Elizabeth. How would I know that he would become such a great friend in the near future??

(Chris on the floor of my beloved University library)

Fast forward a few weeks (because there are too many incidents to write about) and I found myself extremely good friends with the Canadian girl Melissa and an absolutely gorgeous Chinese girl named Antonia. One morning after one of our marathon four hour block of classes I made the suggestion that Melissa, Antonia and I go out for lunch somewhere. The trouble was, we just kept on talking. I'm sure we didn't leave class until an hour that day. Anyway, as I was talking I noticed the boy called Chris come up to us and start talking. I hadn't really talked to Chris until a day in the library when I had been working on an assignment and he had come up to me and talked to me. I was a bit surprised that he came up to me because it was kind of random but I thought it was cool. So I decided to invite Chris along to lunch as well.

(The first ever meeting of the AESM...taken with a grainy mobile phone camera by one of my library co workers.)

We went to McDonalds and I had one of the best times of my life. This was due in part to the great company and also because the Alien Ethnic Society and Melissa was formed – a catastrophic group of personalities hailing from a variety of different countries. We had everything: A Chinese/French girl, a Eurasian boy, a Canadian girl named Ghandi and me.

We had many adventures since then but my favourite was when we filmed "A Flat to Myself" described as "our debut, independant, trendy, arthouse, independant, indie, alternative, ARTHOUSE film" in which Antonia comes out of a fridge and drinks poisoned lemonade given to her by Chris. The film spurned a sequel aptly titled "A Flat to Myself 2" and a documentary in which two filmmakers who look scarily like the stars of the film re-enact the cult classic.

But during the fun filled days in which all founding members of the AESM resided in Rockhampton – for which I will call the "Golden Age" – I received great news. I had been offered a cadetship at an influential and respected Indigenous newspaper. Before I knew it, I was being whisked away to Canberra for an "interview" and after I had completed all my exams and assignments I decided to take up the offer. I gave up my beloved University library job and scholarship and moved out from home. By July my life had changed so drastically and so suddenly that I couldn't get my head around it. In some ways it was like a Bollywood film – it switched genres halfway through and went from being a carefree comedy to a more serious drama.

While in Canberra I moved houses 4 times during 5 months. So I had many adventures and met many new people. But it's fair to say my favourite was a girl named Arika who became my flat mate. The circumstances of our meeting was weird and our friendship remains a little weird but we are comfortable in our weirdness! I haven't gotten sick of her yet and I hope to stay friends with her and her mum Tjanara forever!

I'm getting sick of writing now so I'm going to skip Canberra and fast forward to now.

I have been at home on holidays for about 4 weeks now. I have eight days til I go back. It's weird because I have met so made so many new friends already – the most notable of which is my friend Ram who has one of the best personalities I've ever seen. But I've also had many new adventures with Melissa, Chris, Kate, Joan, my school mates and my favourite little boys of all…Hamish and Jacob.

I couldn't believe it yesterday - a new friend, Manish asked me if they were my sons. I almost laughed out loud. If they were my sons, I would have been ten when I fell pregnant with them. Completely and utterly weird.

Also...a special mention to Kate...who made up "That's Tops". I'm sorry for invoking intellectual copyright so here i officially declare "That's Tops" the work of Kate's mind!

But anyway – that's my "2006" entry. 2007 here I come!

Luv Amy

posted by Lidia @ 10:47 AM   4 comments
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Arika and her car!
One of the best feelings in life is to be driving full ball down a backroad - listening to 80's disco music while you have the wind blowing in your hair. An even better feeling is the envious stares you get from your fellow drivers for having such a deadly car. My good mate Arika owns this one of a kind Mambo promotional car painted by world renowned artist Dave Mckay in 1991!! Isn't it amazing????

I also bought Arika's old car - so i am now the proud owner of a 1987 red Nissan Pulsar - one that yesterday completely blew a tyre leaving me stranded in a shop car park! So i didn't get to work for my last day of 2006 but the good news was - Arika picked me up and we went cruising in her deadly car again! Life is great!

And another example of why life is great is this : I'm going home in two hours!! YAY!

Thank you Arika and Tjanara for giving me the best times in Canberra! I hope everything works out next year and i'm gonna miss you both heaps!!

Luv Amy
posted by Lidia @ 9:46 AM   8 comments
Monday, December 04, 2006

I can almost smell the strong scent of the meatworks, can almost see the rich brownness of the Fitzroy, can almost feel the sizzling sensation of the Queensland sun on my skin.

I am such a nerd for being so excited to go home!

I've figured out that it's little things that make me think of home. And they're weird, silly, irrelevant things. Like India makes me think of home. My friend Melissa's stories make me think of home. Fish and chips makes me think of home. And the beach makes me think of home. Why? I wouldn't have a clue!

To the outside eye, Rockhampton is termed as a 'hole', a 'dive', or a 's***y place'.

To an extent i agree. As a tourist, i would never visit. I would bypass it for Cairns or Townsville or Brissy.

So if you are ever silly enough to go, here are my list of essential places to see.

1. Sit on the banks of the Fitzroy river and pretend not to notice that you can't see the bottom. You can also try your hand at crocodile spotting or try and make up what illegal activity people are up to on their houseboats.

2. Go to the Dreaming Centre. Apparently it's one of the largest Aboriginal museums in Queensland. Then drive down the road and go to the heritage village.

3. Check out the Botanical gardens and zoo - which have been there way before my dad was born, and believe me, that was a long time ago.

4. Leave Rockhampton...i am officially including this list to Central Queensland...and go up to Emu Park and eat fish and chips by the beach. Also go and see the singing ship.

Isn't it funny how you can just completely click with some people?? I have that sort of relationship with two groups of my friends.

1. Melissa/Chris/Antonia/Kate and everyone else in the AESM

2. Lisa, Becky, Liz, Sophie - we were school girls together!

I have never had a fight with any of them which is weird cause i have spent sooo much time with them. So it's weird how people click. What are the ingredients for a perfect friendship? Cause i seem to have so many perfect friendships - people who i never get annoyed at and who never get annoyed at me. Am i just lucky? Or is it so commonplace?

MESSAGE TO MELISSA: Hey! I just remembered - have you ever been to Emu Park?? I don't remember going with you but you've probably been already. But anyway, we have to go when i get back cause it's my favourite beach. We should plan an AESM trip down the beach. And we'll also invite Yogi...just because!

posted by Lidia @ 6:40 PM   7 comments
Sunday, December 03, 2006
This is Mt Yasur volcano on my dad's ancestral island of Tanna. I went up it when i was nine and my dad left me on it while he went to take a closer look into the crater. I sat on a heap of volcanic soil on the top of the volcano for ages until this big rumble came and i jumped up and ran down the side back to my mum who was too scared to go to the top. My dad came back down and thought i had run into the crator. I may have been nine but i wasn't that stupid! True story! It's something i'll remember my whole life. The day my dad left me on the top of an active volcano.

I am in an extremely happy mood today.

Here are the reasons:

1. Tjanara, who i share a house with, made this delicious Sri Lankan Curry and we washed it down with like three cups of tea - it was delicious.

2. There are ten sleeps til hometime.

3. I'm halfway through Umrao Jaan and i really like it so far. I'm becoming an Abishek fan by the minute.

4. I just read my friend Melissa's novel and it's hilarious! You can find a link to it on her blog here I'm even more happy because i make a starring role as the heroine (so far!) named Sarah. I also get to have a love interest - which is loosely based on my friend Yogi only the character is really vain and self centred which i don't think Yogi is. I also get to be an investigative reporter and an undercover superhero - but i won't give the game away.

I also finished watching KANK this week and honestly - i don't see what the big deal with it is. It doesn't stink, but it's not the best movie ever. I actually enjoyed alot of it. But that's because i really like Rani and Abishek is growing on me (as i said before).

I'm also happy because, although i know it's just a poll and probably didn't have a large enough sample i'm sure, Labor may actually have a chance of beating the Howard government in the next federal election. You can read about it in this SMH article I hate labor as well, but it's the lesser of the two evils. And your always bound to hate the people in power.

I have also learnt many things this week.

1. Never buy a toshiba. My friend Arika had one...then her power plug just stopped working. I have one as well and this week mine stopped working as well! So i am using my laptop with a kodak camera docker power adapter. I know your not supposed to but i'll think of that if my laptop ever blows up. For now i'm not too worried. The sound also doesn't work very well on Toshibas and they have a limited battery life. Buy a MAC instead...hahaha

2. Never spend the last few dollars in your wallet on a book, even if it is a new trendy travel memoir called Yoga School Drop out It's not worth it cause you'll miss out on the movies the next day.

3. NEVER FLY QANTAS. hahaha, i still do but seriously - they have lost my luggage 4 times this year!! My friend Amanda said it has never in her life happenned to her - and she basically flys Qantas every week. Maybe i'm unlucky?? Maybe it's airport karma catching up on me? What did i do in a previous life? Spill coffee on an air hostess? Or maybe i clogged up the airplane toilet and in doing so made the plane land in the middle of a war zone to unload human wastage? I don't know. All i know is it's payback happenning now.

4. Never say it's going to rain, because it never will. No matter how many times you knock on wood.

There was an interesting Dateline story on Land rights in Vanuatu It made me mad. What made me more mad was that i knew one of the boys who was being cheated out of his land. I couldn't help being mad at white Australia. Now i'm not saying "white australians" - cause you know, my mum is one - but i mean when is enough enough? First you claim land is yours even when it was originally stolen and when it is recognised and given back to traditional owners - you complain about "the aboriginies" moving in and stealing your parks and beaches. Then you - and i'm speaking to white queensland - steal actual people from their homelands and carry them across the sea to work as slaves in your sugar plantations. You pretend that all of this happenned years ago and therefore there should not be a sorry needed - because after all the crimes aren't generational. Then you refuse to let Pacific workers in so they can build their own economies, you refuse to support the plight of the West Papuans who are being held as second class citizens in their own country (which reminds me of the "aboriginies" as well) and to top it all off you say this country was built on christianity and is no longer racist.

If we aren't racist, how come we can fill up an entire newspaper fortnightly with the injustices committed against Indigenous people?

And how come you are moving in and taking land from Vanuatu to enhance your own profit in a tax havan??

The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was deferred again last week. You can read about it here We are onto the Second Decade of the World's Indigenous Peoples. How many decades is it going to take?

Wow. This entry was all over the shop. It probably didn't make much sense but that's what blogs are for!

Luv Amy
posted by Lidia @ 4:34 PM   5 comments
Thursday, November 30, 2006

Who would have known that Mal "Big man from Canberra" Brough loves the Hoff? Now i know why parliamentarians aren't allowed to be photographed when they're not's not so unsuspecting photojournalists can beam pictures of them sleeping around the's to keep little tidbits like this photo away! What is it about David? Is it the hair, or the accent, or the ability to run in slow motion down sand dunes....

This exclusive was filed on the National Indigenous Times website this afternoon.

Maybe this one will win the Walkley, cause you know, your story doesn't have to be that accurate to get one!

It's Hofficial: Brough's NIC will stay on
Thursday, 30 November 2006 4:07:24 PM

NATIONAL, Nov 30, 2006: David Hasselhoff, the star of 90s television shows such as Knight Rider and Baywatch, has been appointed to John Howard's hand picked Indigenous advisory group, the National Indigenous Council.

The bizarre appointment is aimed at appeasing members of the NIC who threatened a mass resignation because they felt they were not being taken seriously by the Howard Government.

At a tense meeting yesterday with senior ministers and the head of the Prime Minister's Department, Peter Shergold, the Indigenous advisors said the group was sick of being marginalised and not being included in the government decision making process.

A senior government source said that the members of the NIC were just about to walk out of the meeting when Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough was able to negotiate a last minute agreement.

“The NIC was feeling unloved and they were just about to walk out when the Minister asked them if there was anything he could do to rectify the situation?” the source said.

“Apparently they said nick hoff.”

Other sources confirmed that Brough agreed, raced out of the room, made a few calls and later announced that he had secured the services of David Hasselhoff fresh from the production set of the Knight Rider movie in the US.

“I've nicked Hoff,” the Minster is rumoured to have announced to the meeting.

“Brough really rescued the situation for the Government and he even donated his signed copy of The Hoff Loves You Poster to the NIC,” the source added.

But the Federal Minister refused to be drawn on criticism that Hasselhoff has no previous expertise in the Indigenous Affairs portfolio and will add nothing significant to the future of Indigenous Australians.

“He'll feel right at home at the NIC,” Brough said.

But Brough did confirm that yesterday's meeting got quite heated between himself, senior bureaucrats and members of the NIC.

“At one point the NIC threatened to even start developing their own policies and ideas, but that was quickly dismissed as laughable by all in the room,” he added.

It is understood that to satisfy Hasselhoff's contractual arrangements, Howard's hand picked Indigenous advisory group must now be referred to as “The NIC HOFF”.

The Hoff is expected to join the NIC next Tuesday at a dinner with the Prime Minister in Canberra.

In other news...13 sleeps til HOMETIME!!!!

Luv Amy
posted by Lidia @ 8:02 PM   3 comments
Sunday, November 26, 2006

This weekend has been I've been so lazy. I've taken advantage of my housemates being away to hijack the tv and the couch - something I don’t usually do. Maybe there is a good reason that I have housemates - they make sure I don’t become such a couch potato!

Anyway, I've had the tv on the 24 hour music channel all day waiting for Beyonce's new song to come on. It's come on like 15 times so far. Hopefully I'll get sick of it soon so I won't have to fork out $5 for the single. Or steal it off limewire, which I'll probably do anyway. I'm also beginning to form a bit of an opinion on Australian Idol and the whole 'get famous in five minutes' brand of music. I actually think it's a good idea.

I was reading an article in the Age the other day about how Australian music is losing it's voice - it's becoming just a load of transparent artists singing the same rubbish after becoming famous through reality tv or soap operas. We no longer have great political bands like Midnight Oil or Yothu Yindi. But although I like giving to the Australian music industry. I can't comment much on Neighbours cause these bands – I have to appreciate the benefits shows like Australian Idol are the quality of their exports are still rubbish.

Anyway, take the example of the Young Divas (pictured) – four young ladies who all made it to the top ten on Idol – Kate DeAraugo, Ricki-Lee Coulter, Emily Williams and Paulini Curuenavuli. They all are highly talented and they do reflect their age group. How many people their age are really political? They may not write their own songs but neither did Jackson 5 and they are considered as one of the defining bands of Motown. Australian Idol is creating role models for Australian youth. The Young Divas aren't skinny and they're not completely white. Sometimes I think the Australian music industry, and entertainment industry in general, is completely whitewashed and blind to the fact that an Australian doesn't have to be blonde and blue eyed. Our top singers in the past have been people like Kylie Minogue, Delta Goodrem, Savage Garden and John Farnhem. They're great (with the exception of Kylie) but where are the talented Islanders, Asians and Africans???

On Australian Idol we have people from different backgrounds progress to the top. Guy Sebastian, the first winner, is Malaysian. Casey Donovan is an Aboriginal girl. Anthony Callea is Italian. Emily Williams is a New Zealander. Paulini Curuenavuli is Fijian. And the top two in Australian Idol this year is Jessica Mauboy – an Aboriginal/Indonesian girl and Damien Leithe a true blue Irish man who is a first generation Australian. They are all Australian. They are all talented. But until now they have not been adequately represented in the Australian music industry.

Soap Operas are different though. Neighbours and Home and Away all produce the same batch of mediocre blonde bimbos singing melodies of having their hearts broken. The latest is Stephanie McIntosh. Kylie, Bec, Holly, Delta, Tasmin, Stephanie….they all start to blend into one faceless void of crap music after awhile.

Ok, I should spare Delta cause I actually do think she’s talented. The rest are just Australian Hilary Duffs.

Anyway, back to my favourite subject (me!)

There are only 18 more sleeps til I go home!

Here a homage to my old home!

This is the mango tree in the middle of the road outside my (old) house. It's so distinctive and it's been there forever. Everyone likes driving down the street with the tree in the middle of the road!

I had a huge talk to Melissa on the phone yesterday. It was great.
She has a new flat mate - our friend Kumar. It's so weird to think that he is living with her. It was really weird cause he is almost homophobic. Kumar got freaked out abit when Melissa showed him one of our gay friend's boyfriend. He's just like - don't invite him over because he'll try and hit on me!! And Melissa said, "I don't think so, i don't think your his type" and Kumar said, "Every man is a gay guys type!" WE laughed about the ignorance of that comment. It's like saying I would hit on every guy i meet cause i'm straight. It just doesn't make sense. Kumar also told Melissa that there was no use being friends with our friend cause we wouldn't get anything out of it cause he's gay. I don't even understand that. How can someone being gay come in the way of friendship?? Confusing... So I'm looking forward to having heaps of arguements with Kumar when i get back although i'll try to not make him mad cause he makes really good chicken curry :)

ANyway, gotta go!
Luv Amy
posted by Lidia @ 6:38 PM   13 comments
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Genuine politics -- even politics worthy of the name -- the only politics I am willing to devote myself to -- is simply a matter of serving those around us: serving the community and serving those who will come after us. Its deepest roots are moral because it is a responsibility expressed through action, to and for the whole. - Vaclav Havel

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